Wanting to start home recording (but I'm clueless!)

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by waylay00, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

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    I've decided that I want to start recording some tracks at home. However, I'm not sure as to where I need to start. I will be tracking is my guitar through my Splawn Quickrod and possibly a bass through a DI box of some type. But here's what I'm thinking now:

    - I've got a good computer (well, I actually plan on building another one this summer more suited to recording).

    - I know that I'll need at least one mic. Is an SM57 a good, all-around starter mic for recording guitar?

    - I know I'll need some sort of interface/preamp, etc...Any suggestions here? Mbox maybe?

    - I know I'll need some software. I was thinking that an Mbox (bundled with Pro Tools LE) would be a good solution, as I could transfer back and forth between other Pro Tools systems easily. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. MarkL8

    MarkL8 Silver Supporting Member

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  3. darkstar11

    darkstar11 Member

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    Tweakheadz page was loaded with good information.

    I too just started to get involved with basic recording.

    I decided to go with the Line 6 UX2 USB. It is 2 XLR mic inputs with +48V phantom power and 2 - 1/4" guitar/bass input (1 standard, 1 high-gain). Stereo in and outs etc.. It has built-in vocal preamp and Amp modeling.. so if you decide not to mic the amp you can get a very nice tone directly through the UX2.

    For rec software it comes with Ableton Live Lite .. But I opted to buy Sonoma wireworks Riffworks program. It is super easy to use and comes with built-in drums and effects. Plus some other cool features. I read a lot about this program and got it for it's ease of use to get my music onto the computer fast and painless.

    For Microphone.. I have an old Shure SM57.. But after reading the Tweakheadz page.. I am thinking of buying something like a Rode NT1A studio condenser Mic. It looks like it's perfect studio Mic for acoustic instruments and especially vocals.

    I am sure there are other interfaces.. Like the Mbox or M-audio. So check them out.. But if you are looking for lots of features and ease of use.. Check out the Line 6 UX2.

    Hope this helps.

     
  4. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    I would think carefully before going with Pro Tools LE. I have it, I use it, it's a great program, but the problem is that you're locked in to using the Digidesign hardware. If you ever want to use an interface from a different manufacturer, say for more channels or better mic pre's, you're out of luck. The big advantage of Pro Tools, as you mentioned, is interoperability with other systems. If you really think you'll be doing a lot of importing/exporting to other Pro Tools systems, then it makes sense. Otherwise, Pro Tools really has no advantage over other DAW programs.

    As for mics...I've used SM57's for years, and always had difficulty getting the mic to capture the sound that I was hearing in the room. If you search around on TGP, you'll find MANY 57 users with the same frustration. I always thought the mic sounded small and mid-rangey. So I picked up a Fat Head ribbon mic from Cascade Microphones, and WOW. Absolutely fantastic mic, very transparent and seems to capture the sound of my amp beautifully. It's a bit more expensive than the 57 ($159) and you have to handle with care since ribbon mics are delicate, but IMO it's well worth it. Here's a link.

    http://www.cascademicrophones.com/cascade_FAT HEAD.html
     
  5. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Any more thoughts on the Line 6 Toneport?

    Mainly, I want to be able to record my guitar for:

    a) jamming over backing tracks
    b) doing sounds demos of gear, etc...
    c) making my own songs (with a virtual drum machine)

    So that means at first I'll need at least the interface, software, and mic to get started.

    Keep the opinions coming.
     
  6. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    Generally speaking, you need a dedicated PC for audio. If you run Windows, use XP and Google to find out how to tweak it for high performance with audio applications. Do NOT try to use Vista yet.

    The MBox is generally a good solution now that it supports USB 2.0, and ProTools LE has some advantages. The earlier version had latency problems and was kind of a joke. The drawbacks are that the preamps are barely adequate in terms of quality (transparency, headroom, noise)and the convertors are less than stellar. Also, everything you buy for PT (plugins, etc.) cost a fortune compared to other DAWs that use VST and/or DirectX technologies. The same plugin can cost many times that of another DAW simply because of the ProTools "tarrif."

    I would look at something with at least 4 channels. You might think you can get by with 2, but you will find yourself wanting more in no time.

    The most bang for the buck products IMHO are the Presonus FireStudio Project for about $500, the Presonus FP10 also for about $500. If you think you can get by with 2 preamps and 2 line inputs, the FireBox goes for around $300.

    Interestingly, the FS Studio has the best converters at least in terms of headroom.
     
  7. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

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    Thanks.

    Is there anyway I can "add" more preamps if I were to get a Firebox? Right now, it's looking like the best option for me.

    Also, why should I not use Vista? I'm a PC enthusiast and the next build I do will probably have 64-bit Vista.
     
  8. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I'd take a Senheisser e609 over an SM57, more forgiving and less high mid hype.
     
  9. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    First order of business. Write some great music! The world doesn't need another guy with a home studio. It desperately needs more guys who can write great songs.

    Write great songs!
     
  10. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

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    OK, I've done some more research and it seems as if it might be worth it to step up to a Firestudio Project. What are the differences between this and the Firepod/FP10?
     
  11. wopr

    wopr Member

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  12. riker4208

    riker4208 Member

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    My band just recorded our last CD on a Mackie Satellite. $200 bucks.

    Good enough to get our band signed.
     
  13. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    I started with a Lexicon Omega with Cubase LE and a Shure SM57. That's all the basic stuff you need. Beyond that, the next best thing to get is a good (and affordable) condenser mic.
     
  14. waylay00

    waylay00 Member

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    Yeah, after assessing my needs and budget, it looks as if I'm just going to go with the Firebox and an SM57.
     
  15. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    You can daisy chain Presonus Fireboxes with firewire cabling...
     

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